Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations Receives Renewed MIOSHA Recognition of their Workplace Safety and Health Excellence

Contact: Mario l. Morrow 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

April 6, 2011 - Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations recently received renewal of its MVPP Star Award, the state's highest workplace safety and health award, from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).

"Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations is to be commended for its exemplary corporate commitment to workplace safety and health," said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. "They have created a corporate culture where workplace safety and health is a top priority. This company recognizes that a safe workplace provides the foundation for a productive workplace."

MIOSHA established the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) program in 1996 to recognize employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. Since 1999, Michigan has recognized 26 MVPP Star companies. This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. The Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations first received MVPP Star approval on May 7, 2004, and was recertified in 2007.

"The recertification of the MIOSHA Star Award is outstanding and is a reflection of the commitment to environmental, health and safety excellence by Alcoa and the 2,100-plus Alcoans in the Whitehall Operations," said Amy Heisser, Director, Human Resources, Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations.

Driving to create a culture of interdependence and commitment for each other's safety, Alcoa Whitehall employees are making personal pledges to: 
  • Watch out for each other; 
  • Take action to protect each other when "at risk" behaviors are observed; 
  • Be consistent and stick to the proven safe work practices; 
  • Stay in touch with their safety instinct; 
  • Learn from each other, and 
  • Keep improving.

"We are confident that together with our employees these new commitments will continue to drive our environmental, health and safety programs toward obtaining our ultimate goal of ZERO environmental non compliances and ZERO work-related injuries," said Heisser.

The Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcoa Howmet and employs approximately 2,100 workers at seven manufacturing facilities and two support operations. Production employees are represented by UAW Local 1243. The MIOSHA review team consisted of Deb Gorkisch, Safety Specialist, and Dave Humenick, Industrial Hygienist.

The Whitehall Operation's incidence rate and lost work day rate are well below the Michigan average for their NAICS code 331528 − Other Nonferrous Foundries (except Die-Casting). Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 1.7 in 2007, 2.2 in 2008, and 1.3 in 2009  compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 9.9 in 2007, and 5.9 in 2008 and 2009. Their total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 1.5 in 2007, 0.6 in 2008, and 0.3 in 2009  compared to the BLS industry average of 4.8 in 2007, and 3.2 in 2008 and 2009.

Areas of excellence include: 

  • Workplace Ergonomics - Ergonomic risk assessments were conducted and high risk tasks were identified and prioritized, and engineering controls were installed to help eliminate or control the risk. They also developed and implemented an aggressive ergonomics program that includes a pre-work/post-lunch stretching program; an ergonomic early intervention process; and ergonomically designed workstations, equipment, and processes. 
  • Fall Protection/Fall Prevention - The Company has put forth a significant effort to eliminate fall potential risks. A prioritized Fall Risk Survey has been conducted with 574 potential fall hazards identified. All of the potential fall hazards have been addressed and closed. 
  • Mobile Equipment - The Mobile Equipment Program applies to equipment such as lift trucks, narrow aisle lift trucks, overhead cranes, hoists, jib cranes, etc. Wherever possible, the site has eliminated the use of lift trucks. Where this isn't possible, pedestrian/vehicle barrier systems have been installed. All loading docks are equipped with dock restraint systems; wheel chocks are supplied for smaller trucks not equipped with ICC Bars. Dock plate leveling systems have been installed on all loading docks and new lights have been installed to eliminate fall potentials on elevated docks.

"Your continued recognition in the MVPP program and the trust and cooperation upon which it is based demonstrate that implementing an exemplary safety and health-management system not only is an admirable goal, but it is sustainable in the long term," said Kalinowski.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Alcoa Howmet is a world leader in the investment casting of superalloys, aluminum and titanium primarily for jet aircraft engines and airframes as well as industrial gas turbine (IGT) engine components. Alcoa Howmet also provides hot isostatic pressing, precision machining and protective coating services.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world's largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa's operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

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